Negotiate your Chime Salary

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Chime Salary Negotiation Guide

Do we like negotiating with Chime?

Chime is willing to negotiate if you set up the right leverage. They definitely aren't the best company to negotiate with (some recruiters will play the "we want to be fair to all employees" card), but we've still seen solid increases.

One challenge we often hear from people who come to us is the opaque nature of Chime's levelling, comp bands, and company-specific negotiation policies, since there is not much information available online.

Chime's compensation structure

  • Base Salary
  • Chime Equity Package (see Chime's RSU vesting schedule below)
  • Annual Bonus

You might be wondering if a Chime sign on bonus is possible. Unfortunately signing bonus at Chime are very rare and require special approvals.

Additionally, annual refreshers are not a part of the standard Chime compensation package. It is possible to get performance-based refreshers, but this is for "exceeding expectations" vs. the industry standard refreshers for "meets expectations".

Chime has not had it's IPO yet, but like many other late-stage private companies (e.g. Instacart, Stripe), it offers RSUs instead of stock options. This is generally better for employees as you don't need to pay to purchase the shares (though there are tax implications).

Chime performance bonus targets

Chime performance bonus targets are not negotiable, which is normal in the industry. Chime bonuses are paid out consistently so you should factor them in when comparing to other offers.

L3 – 10%

L4 – 10%

L5 – 15%

L6 – 15%

Chime's approach to remote pay

Chime is less remote friendly than most tech companies (fintech generally has this reputation). Some teams are fully remote but it depends on your manager and director. Most roles are still based in either Chicago, San Francisco or Vancouver.

One positive note is that Chime typically has smaller remote compensation discounts (or Chicago/Vancouver office discounts) when compared to their standard SF pay.

Chime's relocation package

Chime has fewer remote roles and hence you may be required to move for the position. Unfortunately, we haven't seen strong relocation packages in Chime offers historically. We expect this is something they will improve in 2022.

Most negotiable component

As is the case with most tech companies, equity is the most negotiable compensation component of a Chime job offer. Normally signing bonuses would be a close second, but that is not the case as there is no Chime signing bonus. Fortunately, we see that the Chime base salary does have more room for negotiation compared to other companies.

Note: If you need more help regarding negotiating with Chime, check out our articles on email vs call negotiation strategies, scripts as a powerful tool when negotiating, and this guide to understanding startup equity as a key component of total compensation.

Does Chime require written offers?

Chime does not usually require written offers during the negotiation. You should expect some questions about the competing offer (e.g., location, offer breakdown, etc.).

Will Chime go above band if I have a strong competing offer?

We have not seen an above band offer during a Chime salary negotiation, even when the candidate has higher competing offers. This policy also exists at some other companies (e.g. Facebook 2020) - Amazon is the opposite end of that spectrum.

Your target should be a top of band offer or push for an uplevel if the compensation doesn't make sense for your situation.

Is my hiring manager relationship important at Chime?

Yes. Strong hiring manager relationships can tip the scales in a tough negotiation. This is more true at Chime vs a highly bureaucratic company like Google.

What does the hiring process look like at Chime?

The typical hiring process at Chime has 5 stages: recruiter screen, manager screen, technical interview, onsite interview and the offer stage.

Some teams have also incorporated a take-home assignment into the process. You should ask your recruiter for a full overview of the process if you are just starting interviews.

Note: There are many job seekers who are looking for an interview resource. So, we have prepared a comprehensive interview preparation guide comparing various resources like LeetCode Premium, AlgoExpert, InterviewCake and HackerRank.

Does Chime pay well compared to Stripe?

Let’s compare a Chime software engineer salary to that of Stripe’s in 2021. L4 SWE at Chime translates to L3 at Stripe. Top of band Chime comp and top of band Stripe comp for this level would be around $500k.

What kind of benefits does Chime offer?

Chime has excellent benefits as you would expect from a tech company (health insurance, retirement plans, free food etc.). One unique aspect is PTO. Last year many offers were approaching 30 days of PTO (3x what you'd see in an Amazon offer).

Chime Equity Vesting Schedule

Year 1
25%
Year 2
25%
Year 3
25%
Year 4
25%
Year 5
25%
Year 5
%

Chime Levels

Chime Level

L2

L3

L4

L5

L6

L7

=

Equivalent Level at Google

L3

L4

L5

L6

L7

L8

Why use us?

Our Clients Love Moonchaser

Coming from a non-FAANG background, I was shocked to find out how much I could be earning. Before I signed up with Moonchaser, I made the mistake of telling Amazon my current compensation. Thankfully, Moonchaser knew exactly how to fix it and ended up getting me an offer that was 2.3X what I previously made and more than $600K higher than Amazon’s initial offer!

Through several weeks of interviews, Ganesh was always available to make sure I knew what to say for each conversation. I interviewed with start ups, Google, Facebook and Amazon and was really impressed that Moonchaser knew the comp ranges and were able to give me tailored advice for each – even the start ups.

There ended up being two particularly complex moments in my negotiation. One of the start-ups I had a personal relationship with and I wasn’t sure how it would affect the negotiation. I like that there was a focus on my individual circumstances and that they were leveraged to get me a higher offer. The other situation is that Amazon made a mistake on my written offer and initially wouldn’t rectify it. Ganesh was able to guide me through a challenging conversation to get it resolved.

Steve Commisso
L7 Principal Software Engineer, Amazon

Thanks to Wilson and the team at Moonchaser I got a ~$250K increase on my remote Facebook offer! I was initially worried I wouldn’t have much leverage because Facebook reached out to me, and I wasn’t interviewing anywhere else. Moonchaser introduced me to an Amazon L7 recruiter and helped me get that process started. I didn’t even end up needing to finish the Amazon interviews, since we were able to use some early compensation conversations to justify our numbers to Facebook.

At one point I was also considering pushing for an E7 role, and they wrote up a great script for me to broach the subject with my recruiter. She ended up giving me the option to do an additional interview to be considered for the higher-level position.

The whole process was very smooth, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use the service for any future negotiations. I found the regular calls with Wilson where we walked through strategy and discussed the scripts to be extremely helpful. Not only did it help with this negotiation, but I also learned a lot of useful negotiation tactics that I’ve already started to use in other situations.

Chris Jones
E6 Software Engineer, Facebook

As an engineering leader with decades of experience and having now gone through the negotiation with the team at Moonchaser, the only thing I can say is — get the help. Whether you realize you need it, or even if you think you don’t. Just because you have done well in engineering doesn't mean that you understand the tactics and limits of the recruiting process.

Moonchaser helped me get a $200K increase on my original Facebook offer without any competing offers.  It was clear that Moonchaser was deeply familiar with Facebook's negotiation playbook. I’d honestly give the experience an 11/10.

In addition, Moonchaser guided me on how to get the position switched to a revised remote role which was a huge deal at a personal level. They showed me how to redirect FB’s questions so that I could explore the possibility of not relocating, without ever having to say no to my original offer.

E7 Hardware Engineer
Facebook

This is my first FAANG role and I'm so happy I worked with Moonchaser (thanks again Annie!) for the negotiation. My goal was to increase my Google offer, but I was in a tricky situation where I only had 1 other interview (no offer yet) at a small startup. With their guidance, I managed to get a $240K increase on my Google offer, despite Google's policy of requiring cross offers in writing to justify an increase.

The mock negotiations were a big part of why I was able to get this increase. Going into the negotiation, I assumed the key factor was what to say but I quickly learned that how you say it is equally if not more important. This was clear when over the course of the call"no" turned into "I'll see what I can do" and eventually"I think we can make this work". A big part of this was also having someone with me on the calls to provide real time guidance. This took a lot of the stress out of the situation. I can't recommend this team highly enough!

Andrei Gorbushkin
L5 Technical Program Manager, Google

After receiving several job offers, I needed to make a decision within a few days. I wanted to make sure I was getting the best offer possible, so I decided to use Moonchaser. I was very pleased with their service. My coach, Sameer, was well prepared and had information about what compensation increases were likely possible. He provided detailed scripts covering a range of scenarios, and he did practice negotiations with me that helped me feel confident when I had the actual conversations.  

With his help I was able to increase one offer by $45k per year plus get a $50k signing bonus and then use that to increase my offer from Square, which was my first choice. All throughout he was very responsive as I was dealing with some tight deadlines and looking to wrap things up quickly. Moonchaser's fee was only a tiny fraction of the increase they helped me negotiate, and even though they would have made more money if I had taken the highest offer, Sameer always put my goals first and never pressured me to do so. I highly recommend Moonchaser!

L6 Software Engineer
Square

My friend introduced me to Moonchaser and I’m so glad they did. I initially did some calculations to see if working with them would be worth it - my final increase ended up being ~3x higher than what I had estimated to be possible!

Their data is much more accurate than anything I found online. Without Sameer's guidance, I would have never known (and would have probably been too nervous) to ask for >$800K for anAmazon L7 offer. Of course, it's not just not enough to throw out a big number, you also need to be able to justify it. Sameer guided me through negotiating an up-level at another company, which I didn’t even know was possible at my level. With their scripts, I was able to leverage my competing offer to get exec approval for my Amazon offer. They also knew all the tricks Amazon would play (e.g., assuming 15% stock appreciation) and exactly how to counter them.

My total 4-year compensation increased by $570K. I don't think I've ever had a higher ROI – I’m very thankful that this service exists!

L7 Principal Software Engineer
Amazon

Maximize your Chime Offer

Chime

has a unique set of negotiation policies. If you don’t have experience negotiating with them, you risk losing out on large amounts of money because of very small mistakes.

There are many of these rules you need to know to get the highest

Chime

offer possible.